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Wetland Types

Wetlands come in many "flavors" and each type has a unique set of characteristics. In this section, we have compiled the types of wetlands, based on their salinity and tidal characteristics, that can be found in Delaware.

The seasonal freshwater wetlands in this section share several features. They are largely freshwater (lack tidal inputs), usually fed by seasonal rains or high groundwater levels, and appear wet at the surface for only part of the year (typically winter through early spring). They also feature some of our most vital habitats for biodiversity in the state (including many species found nowhere else), and are also the ones most vulnerable to loss through human impacts.

Wet meadow

Wet Meadows 

Wet meadows are another freshwater wetland type that may escape notice for not appearing wet over much of the year. But they do receive sufficient groundwater; rainwater and/or snow melt to show standing water at the surface on a seasonal basis. Just below the surface, soils remain waterlogged for longer periods, supporting development of a plant community that includes a variety of reeds, sedges, rushes, asters, goldenrods and other soggy-soil adapted plants.

Wet meadows also support unique wildlife species, most notably, the endangered bog turtle (see spotlight below). Because they appear dry at the surface for the better part of the year, wet meadows have often been viewed as non-wetland in nature and thus vulnerable to filling and draining for other uses. Where water source and soil conditions allow, wet meadows restoration projects are easily done. 


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